PRFC Oyster Sanctuaries

Reg. II, Sec. 4(a)Oyster Sanctuaries The hereinafter listed areas of the Potomac River are declared to be oyster sanctuaries and thereby closed for the purpose of taking or catching or attempting to take or catch oysters by any means at any time. These areas are:

  1. All natural oyster bars in the Potomac River, which are west and south of Upper Cedar Point Light #8, which includes the charted natural oyster bars of Metomkin Point (80 acres), Stuart Point (106 acres) and Chotank Lumps (207 acres); and,
  2. The natural oyster bar Bluff Point Lumps (310 acres), which is an area north and east of the main ships channel, west of 76° 56.800' West Longitude, and south of 38° 17.600' North Latitude; and,
  3. All areas which cannot be harvested with 18 foot hand shaft tongs on the natural oyster bar Heron Island. Heron Island is that area which is south of the PRFC/DNR jurisdictional line, east of Dukeharts channel, west of Breton Bay channel and north of the Potomac River main channel.

Reg. II, Sec. 4(b)Taking or Catching of Oysters in Closed Areas. It shall be unlawful to take oyster from any area which has been closed by any action, rule or regulation of the Potomac River Fisheries Commission.

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission coordinates regulations with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, (DGIF) and with the other Atlantic coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).